We asked attorneys from around the US to answer a simple yet important question: “When Do I Need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me?”
Keep in mind that insurance companies have teams of lawyers and adjusters who begin evaluating personal injury accidents right away. Because of this, every personal injury victim should retain legal counsel as soon as possible to review their legal issues and level the playing field.
If you have questions after a serious injury accident, we want to make things easier for you and your loved ones. Our law firm offers FREE consultations for all injured accident victims. During your consultation, a local personal injury lawyer can answer your questions and help you explore all the legal options available to you to ensure the best outcome possible.
Our personal injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, have recovered millions in monetary compensation for our clients. Call us today or fill out our contact form to learn more.
Many car accident victims find themselves facing an uncertain future after a serious accident. Fortunately, when this happens, an experienced auto accident law firm can help you through this difficult time and protect your right to compensation along the way. But when do you need to hire a personal injury lawyer?
We asked more than 30 of the most experienced personal injury attorneys in Florida and across the country to answer this simple yet important question. Knowing that insurance companies want to pay as little as possible to resolve injury claims, the most popular answer is... it is never too early to find a lawyer near you to protect your rights and achieve the best compensation award possible.
See below for answers from personal injury attorneys from the following states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- South Carolina
Video Transcript: When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
The topic of this video is when should I hire a personal injury lawyer? I'm Matt Dolman, here with my partner in crime, Stan Gipe, board certified civil trial lawyer. Stan, explain to the viewers out there and those looking at our website right now, when do you hire a personal injury lawyer? Why is it so important to move quickly? What are the steps?
You need to hire a personal injury lawyer or retain a personal injury attorney as soon as you realize you may have been injured in an incident that was someone else's fault and they may be responsible for providing your medical care. The first thing that happens is when we are injured, we have a trip and fall, we do something at our own house that's our own fault, we know exactly what to do. You go to the doctor, you either pay cash or you provide your health insurance. When you've been injured in an auto accident, you've got a completely different beast going on. Your health insurance is not the primary insurance. It's a coverage called PIP, which may be under your insurance policy, it may be under the person you rode with, or it could be under the person that hit you, depending on the facts of the accident.
When you go to your primary care physician and you tell him you've been involved in an automobile accident, he's going to tell you, "I can't treat you. I can't see you. I don't know how to bill that." And you're stuck. So it's tough for someone who's been injured in an accident who's not navigated these waters before to get out there and properly seek care in a timely fashion. If it takes you three weeks to realize you're supposed to treat under your PIP coverage, well you're out of luck because there's a 14 day window to get in for the first treatment.
Yeah, which then you'll have no PIP coverage. But even more important, the longer the timeline before you eventually treat, the more problematic the case may become. Then they're going to say, "How could that accident have caused the very injuries you're complaining of?"
It's what we call a gap in treatment. One of the biggest things a insurance company looks for, hey, a gap in treatment. It was a length of time either where they quit treating and started treating again or where they just didn't treat after the time of the accident. That's absolutely one of the biggest defenses they've got. And then the other thing you've got is, well, what do you do in a trip and fall accident? What do you do if you trip, it's someone else's fault and you don't have health insurance? You're going to walk into the ER. They're required to provide emergency treatment if you need it, and bill you. After the ER, what are you going to do? Who's going to treat you? You can't walk into a doctor's office, say, "Hey, I'm injured. I've got no money, but I'll pay you some time." Doesn't work like that.
So you've got to go to an attorney who knows the special handful of doctors who will work with you under what's known as a letter of protection. This is a letter that the attorney sends to the doctor. Matt, explain a little bit about that, how it works.
So basically it's a document that earmarks ... Let me rephrase. The document will state that we the attorneys are going to protect the settlement money and earmark the funds for that medical treatment and the outstanding medical bills in our trust account, pending a negotiation on the medical bills at the end of the case. Therefore, the doctor knows they're going to get paid, they're secured payment. In a universe of physicians that treat under health insurance or are willing to see patients, there's only a finite group of doctors that are willing to see you under a letter of protection that treat auto accident or personal injury victims.
It's important to find those doctors right away. You want to get care in the acute phase of your injury. The best time and the most successful time to treat is right away. If you wait three months to address an injury, a lot of times healing has already occurred. Some of the ability you had to repair damage that was done is lost because you delayed. So right away when the accident happens, if you've got any concerns, any comments, any thoughts that you may have an injury claim, call. Call. I mean, doesn't cost anything for a consult. Usually within five minutes on the phone, we can have a pretty good analysis for you of what you're looking at, what we need to do, what's the next step.
And then the other thing is preserving the evidence. How did this happen? Was it a defect in a property? Was it a slip and fall? Was it water? How do we document that this was there? How do we prove it? If it's a defect, if there's something wrong, we need to get an expert out there. We need to look at it before it gets fixed. We need to be able to prove why it's their fault.
Why is it so important to hire an experienced ... Because there's so many guys out there, so many men and women who come out of law school, hang up their shingle as a personal injury lawyer. Why is it so important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer?
Well, it's like this. It's important to hire an experienced tradesman or professional whenever you've got a serious issue. If you've got a simple leaky faucet, any plumber may do. If your house is flooding, you want the guy who knows how to do it. So if you're thinking, hey, my injury claim's just a small claim, it doesn't matter, it's the kind of thing anyone can handle, you can go to any attorney. If you want to get a maximum recovery, you want someone who knows what they're doing, someone who's going to get you to those right doctors and get the documentation in place, you want someone who's also done it thousands of times. You want someone who's seen the bag of tricks from the insurance company and who's going to proactively handle your claim, so that later when the insurance company looks at it, those holes they typically like to poke in the claim aren't there. You've been proactive. You've built a good defense.
Jumping off that question, it bridges to the next topic. Why is it so important to hire someone, when it comes to experienced personal injury lawyers, someone that's board certified like yourself, who has experience trying cases, first and third party of the insurance claims in front of juries throughout the state? Why is it so important to have a real board certified civil trial lawyer handling your case, or at least at the law firm assisting on your claim? What's the difference?
Board certification's really the only thing we have to thump our chest with. It can't really say we're better than someone else, but it allows us to say we're an expert. If you could be board certified as an attorney, most people are. It's not that there's a bunch of people walking around that are board eligible, don't take the exam and don't do it. What this means is you've tried a number of cases in front of judges and juries in the area. You've also got responses back from the judges you've tried cases in front of, and opposing counsel to the bar that you're an expert, honorable and ethical at what you do. Then once that happens, you're qualified to take a written exam that tests your knowledge of evidence and your skills in the courtroom. If you pass all of that, you get to be a board certified civil trial attorney. In Florida, less than 5% of us are board certified civil trial attorneys that get in the courtroom and do this kind of stuff. The insurance companies know who they are.
Of course. And I always try to tell individuals this. At the end of the day, insurance is just all about risk management. The guy who knows how to try a case, I mean, you could be the world's worst trial attorney, and Stan clearly isn't. Stan's a very good trial attorney. The world's worst trial lawyer is still better than the guy down the block who never tries a case. Insurance companies hate one thing, and that's spending money. You do not pose a risk to insurance company if you don't have the ability and the financial resource and the experience to go try a case in front of a jury.
Well, and here's the thing, Matt. It's not saying that people who aren't board certified aren't good trial attorneys, just different people have different skill sets. You may be a very brilliant person that freezes when asked to do public speaking. It's a different mindset. There's some presentation. There's some joy of public speaking and things that go into it that just doesn't work well with everyone's skill sets. So just because someone's not a board certified civil trial attorney doesn't mean they're not a good attorney, doesn't mean they're not skilled. Just means the courtroom might not be their best place.
All I'll say to that is, and I agree with everything you just said, but if the law firm or lawyer that's handling your claim doesn't have the ability to inevitably or eventually get to trial or take the case through trial, they don't pose a true risk to the insurance company, the case is likely to settle for far less. Can't guarantee that, but the likelihood is the case poses a lot greater risk to insurance company if the lawyer or law firm has the ability to try the case.
Bottom line, if you're not willing to try the case, you have to take the insurance company's last offer, and they know that.
Of course. Last question while I have you here, Stan. Stan's a man of precious little time. Why is it so important to hire a local personal injury lawyer? So you go into Google and you put into the search query, in the search box, personal injury or car accident lawyer, or personal injury lawyer near me. Why do you need to find a personal injury lawyer that's close to you? Why do you want to have somebody in that jurisdiction?
It's like anything else. If you're hiring a fishing guide, you want the fishing guide that knows the water in that area. They know the tricks, they know the secrets, they know where to go. If you've got an attorney, you want to know the people who knows the players in the area. What doctors have had trouble in the past? Who has a bad reputation? Who's not going to testify well? What defense doctors are going to do to attack the claim and how do we proactively prepare for that? If you don't know the lay of the land, you can't make a proper map. And if you're operating outside of your area of expertise, outside of the area you know really well, you're shooting in the dark.
Well said. I appreciate your time, Stan. For those who are viewing us on YouTube or taking a look at our website right now, if you need any further help, for a free consultation or a free case review, just give us a call, (833) 55-CRASH. I'm Matt Dolman. That's my partner, Stan Gipe. The website is DolmanLaw.com, D-O-L-M-A-N-L-A-W.com. I'm Matt Dolman. That's Stan Gipe. Thank you very much.
Frequently Asked Questions
You'll find the answers to the most frequently asked follow-up questions below as well:
- Does My Situation Require a Personal Injury Attorney?
- How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
- What Sets Dolman Law Group Apart from the Competition?
- How Do I Find the Best Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me?
When Do You Need to Work With Personal Injury Lawyers?
Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have suffered a personal injury as a result of the negligence exhibited by an individual or corporation, hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is vital. Sadly, I see many individuals attempt to handle their own personal injury claims and fail for several reasons. Countless studies demonstrate that a claimant represented by legal counsel will “net” (not just gross) in excess of three times more money than if they had handled their own personal injury cases.
If you opt to handle your own personal injury claim, the insurance carrier will inevitably offer you a minimal amount of money (a “nuisance value” offer) to simply go away. The insurance company is only offering you money because they see your claim as a mere nuisance to them. You can send countless letters demanding a settlement that will fall on deaf ears as they believe a non-lawyer lacks the ability to handle their own personal injury lawsuit.
You can choose to represent yourself, but as the old saying goes “he who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Most victims lack the training and experience necessary to negotiate properly with an insurance carrier and resolve their medical bills. Further, a claimant almost always lacks the resources to retain the best experts – and the knowledge to know when s/he needs one.
Having handled over 10,000 personal injury claims during my long career, I have seen it all. I have personally handled claims consisting of injuries arising from minor to moderate property damage all the way to catastrophic personal injury claims, and I can confidently say there is no substitute for experience. Every insurance carrier handles claims in a different manner; thus, without having dealt with the same insurance carrier and adjusters time and again, most people lack the knowledge of how to properly negotiate with such a corporation.
Our firm is respected by insurance carriers for routinely litigating serious injury cases throughout the state of Florida. We have tried many cases before a jury and, as a result, we often obtain much better offers than law firms that do not try cases or aggressively litigate a personal injury lawsuit.
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew A. Dolman, Esq.
What to Expect During One of Our Free Case Evaluations
During our initial consultation with a client, we do a thorough intake, which includes determining all medical providers a client may have been treated by in the past. Insurance carriers and their army of defense lawyers take the “you are guilty until proven innocent approach” to all cases. It is therefore essential to obtain all prior medical records (no matter how unrelated they may appear) and allow the insurance carrier(s) to see for themselves the extent of any pre-existing injuries.
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we work with a team of experts to illustrate liability, causation (that the accident caused the injuries complained of), future and present damages, and other pertinent issues, which are necessary to maximize the damages our client seeks. Our injury lawyers have achieved significant success at mediation and trial as a result of our preparation. We have the financial resources to hold the largest corporations accountable and seek justice on behalf of those who have suffered catastrophic, life-altering injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limbs and amputation
- Serious motor vehicle accident injuries
- Wrongful death
The decision to hire a personal injury attorney should be made as soon as possible following your injury. And it is essential that you evaluate the reviews supplied by former clients, which you can easily find via Google by searching the law firm's name. This can help you determine whether the personal injury law attorneys you consider have legitimate trial lawyers on their team.
Matthew A. Dolman, Esq. - Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
North Miami Beach Personal Injury Lawyer
There are many reasons why an injured person would need a personal injury lawyer after an accident. Quite simply, the process involved is much more complicated than an insurance company would like you to believe. Their job is to pay as little as possible and hope you go away, but hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer will prevent this.
A good lawyer will ensure that the insurance company treats the claim seriously and maximize your claim. A bad personal injury attorney will take whatever they can get. Not having an attorney at all could leave you with nothing.
You should also know that the at-fault party's insurance carrier will have its own legal counsel on the case from the start. An insurance adjuster may offer you a low ball settlement or attempt to get you to say things that could potentially hurt your claim. A personal injury lawyer will take care of all communication with the insurance companies, including aggressively negotiating for the best settlement possible on your behalf.
If you were involved in an accident that caused death, serious injury, or significant damage, enlisting the services of a personal injury attorney is the best route. They are trained in the legal field, speak with insurance companies every day, and have the resources necessary to zealously pursue an injury case.
Did you know that if the insurance company contests your injuries (and they will) that you will have to hire a car accident lawyer to testify that your injury is real? This is just one example of the many different experts that may need to be employed in order to thoroughly represent your case. Others might include:
- Car accident reconstruction experts
- Surgical specialists
- Mental health professionals
- Any other expert who can testify to the extent of the different damages affecting you
The insurance company is going to try to pay you as little as possible. You are not “in good hands” – you are in the hands of a company that is looking to maximize profits and minimize loss. So, hire an attorney who benefits if you benefit and don't be stuck with the financial aftermath of a poorly-handled claim.
Fort Myers Personal Injury Lawyer
You need to hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as you possibly can following an accident. The insurance companies started working out how to trip you up and defeat your claim the minute the accident happened. Every hour of delay gives them a head start.
Unfortunately, there is an urban legend out there that you can represent yourself, settle your own claim, and “save” the percentage that a real personal injury would charge. The harsh reality is that it is well known in the insurance industry that people with lawyers get 3 to 7 times more in settlements than people without lawyers. Even worse, while the insurance company is stringing you along with "negotiations," the critical physical evidence disappears, such as:
- The damaged vehicles
- The event data recorders (black boxes)
- Any video footage of the accident
By hiring a real personal injury lawyer to represent you immediately after the crash, the insurance company will recognize and understand that you are serious about the case and evaluate it higher. An experienced personal injury lawyer can take over, preserve evidence, and give you solid legal advice at every step of the way, from how to get your car repaired to wage loss and access to the best medical care.
Don't wait! Call a personal injury lawyer right after the accident. You'll be glad you did!
Marcus W. Viles, Esq. - Viles & Beckman, LLC
Orlando Personal Injury Lawyer
If you even have to ask this question, then you need a personal injury lawyer right now. If you are inexperienced in dealing with insurance companies, you will find out quickly that they are not your friend or on your side. Their job is to settle and resolve a claim as fast as they can for as little money as they can.
They are not concerned if you are physically ok or not. And they are not concerned about what your long-term physical outlook is or what impairments you may have. So, if you have been in an accident and believe you have a claim or case, the time to contact a personal injury lawyer is ASAP!
Insurance companies are going to try to talk to you as soon as possible following an accident, especially before you have a lawyer or have seen a doctor. They do this so that they can make a quick settlement with you and get you to sign a release. Without representation and proper counsel, you could be throwing away thousands of dollars and signing away your right to hold the appropriate person responsible for your pain and suffering.
An experienced lawyer knows that injuries take time to heal and that only through proper care can an accident victim learn the full extent of their injuries and the cost of treatment. They don't want you to settle quickly but rather want to know the full extent of the damages caused by the accident. Only then can a fair and accurate settlement value be established.
A lawyer also knows all the tricks and traps that insurance companies use – and can stop and prevent the insurers from using them on you. So, if you think you might need a personal injury lawyer, then you should hire one right away. There is usually no out-of-pocket risk or expense to you for doing the same, and the failure to do so can deprive you of the opportunity to obtain fair and just compensation for your case.
Michael T. Gibson, Esq. - Michael T. Gibson, P.A.
Glendale Personal Injury Lawyer
When you get hurt in a car crash, slip-and-fall or any other type of accident, the most important thing you should do is seek medical attention. A doctor will know how to check you for injuries that might not be immediately apparent, like a concussion or internal bleeding. The doctor can also start you on a course of treatment that will set you on the path to recovery – and you should make sure to stick to that treatment plan.
Once you get the medical attention you need, you should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. A personal injury lawyer will know how to review your case, explore your options and start the process of pursuing any compensation you are due. In any case, it is crucial to talk with a personal injury lawyer first before you give any statements to an insurance company or sign any documents.
Tony Edwards, Esq. - Edwards & Patterson Law
Glendale Personal Injury Lawyer
After any type of accident that was caused by someone else's negligence, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention for your injuries. However, once you have taken care of your health-related needs, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss what happened.
A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can explain your rights in a free, no-obligation consultation. During this time, you can discuss the cause of your accident and the extent of your injuries. Your attorney will want to conduct an independent investigation of the accident to determine who should be held liable.
In addition, he or she will begin documenting such important elements of your case as your:
- Medical expenses
- Missed time from work
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Any other losses related to the accident
In the days and weeks after an accident, evidence can disappear and memories can fade. It is important to get a personal injury attorney on your case as soon as possible.
Zachary Mushkatel, Esq. - Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker
Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer
You need to hire a personal injury attorney if you share some fault for your own accident and injuries. In California, being partially at fault for your accident does not necessarily prevent you from recovering compensation. However, the amount of money you can recover will be limited.
Responsibility will be divided and shared between anyone who contributed to the accident. Your recovery will be reduced by your own percentage of fault, and others will try to shift blame to you to protect themselves. It can be devastating if they are successful and you are considered to be solely responsible for the accident.
This will prohibit you from recovering any compensation from another party or their insurer. Hiring an attorney helps to protect you and maximize your settlement or jury verdict. Your injury lawyer will carefully review the details and evidence of your case to find any indicator that others share fault and will attempt to recover compensation from anyone who played a part in causing your injury.
Joshua Glotzer, Esq. - Glotzer & Leib
San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been hurt through another person's fault or at the business/property of another person, then you should talk to a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer will listen to what happened to you, evaluate your situation, and decide whether he or she can take your case. It is very important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after you have been injured. We will work with the at-fault party to collect damages.
For example, if you are in an auto accident, the insurance company of the other driver will normally call you right away. Their investigators will try to talk to you on a recorded line and get you to say things that will harm your legal rights, like you did not have a serious injury or that the crash was your fault. It is better to have a lawyer represent your interests, talk to the insurance company, and only provide the information necessary to put you in the best position for recovery.
Talking to a lawyer right after you have been injured is important because the lawyer can give you the advice you need to help you put yourself in the most favorable position. For example, a lawyer will want to make sure all of the evidence is preserved in your case, whether it's video surveillance, photographs, or witness statements. This advice is protected under the attorney-client privilege as confidential, just as it is when you tell your attorney what happened in your accident.
How do You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
A personal injury lawyer enters into a representation agreement with a contingency fee, which means that the lawyer will only get paid a percentage for their work on your case when they collect a settlement or verdict. This allows top lawyers to work in the personal injury legal industry and battle against lawyers who are earning higher billable rates. If you are injured or harmed, all you need to do is contact a personal injury lawyer.
Top personal injury law attorneys have an intake team that will listen to your story about how you got injured, ask you follow-up questions, and have an attorney evaluate your case within 24 hours. Then, if the attorney wants to take your case, you can come in to meet the attorney in person or get started right away by signing a representation agreement via a document signing program.
We work on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing unless we win your case. We do not work off an hourly rate. This allows you access to the best legal representation. We will pursue the liable party and their insurance company to get you the largest settlement possible. Doing so helps to relieve you of the emotional distress involved in the process of seeking legal remedy for severe injuries incurred due to an accident or a defective product. We will work to get you a personal injury settlement for physical injuries, and also any punitive damages. Punitive damages are usually only won when you have legal representation who has years of experience in the legal process. We will get you a fair settlement.
John Gomez, Esq. - Gomez Trial Attorneys
Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer
The most common type of personal injury case results from a car/bus/truck accident. No-fault laws require the insured to promptly advise their own insurance company of an accident so that a no-fault claim number can be submitted to all medical service providers. The medical service providers must then submit their bills to your no-fault insurance company within a limited amount of time.
Most car drivers are grossly under-insured for liability and SUM (supplemental underinsured/uninsured motorist) coverage. For example, if the negligent driver only has a $25,000 liability policy and no assets to satisfy your injury claim, you may be able to collect from your own SUM coverage on your own car insurance policy if you have SUM coverage beyond the liability coverage of the negligent driver. You make a SUM coverage claim to obtain payment for the difference between the two insurance policies.
The procedure for SUM coverage claims must be complied with or your claim will be denied. If you have more than a minor injury, consulting an experienced personal injury lawyer for guidance and to ensure you are able to successfully navigate the no-fault system is imperative.
Sherwin Arzani, Esq. - Citywide Law Group
Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer
Whenever you have suffered serious injuries, it is crucial for you to contact and hire a personal injury lawyer. Here are three instances when you should hire a personal injury lawyer:
- You have long-term or permanently disabling injuries.
- There are multiple parties involved in your accident.
- The insurance company is refusing to pay.
In any instance, I would recommend that you at least contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation if you have suffered any type of personal injury.
Darl Champion, Esq. - Champion Law Firm
Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer
Whether you've been injured in a car accident, a dog attack, as the result of a pharmacy error, or have lost a loved one, you should protect your rights by immediately talking to a personal injury lawyer. Do not hesitate. Many states have strict time limits — a statute of limitations — that limit the amount of time you have to seek compensation for your injury.
Be sure to consult with a personal injury lawyer before you contact an insurance company. And, no matter what, do not give a recorded statement to an insurance company. It is equally important that you hire the right lawyer because insurance companies know which law firms will take a case all the way to trial if necessary.
A study by the Insurance Research Council found that settlements were 40% higher when claimants were represented by a lawyer. To make sure you get the maximum compensation you deserve, hire an experienced personal injury attorney who isn't afraid to try your case.
Paul Greenberg, Esq. - Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer
Most people assume that you only hire a lawyer after an accident or injury because you are critically injured or disabled. Society perpetuates the harmful stereotype that only those who are catastrophically injured have a “right” to hire an attorney and file a “legitimate” lawsuit. As a lawyer who has seen firsthand how a variety of accidents have turned many victims' lives upside down, this misconception is harmful and, frankly, offensive.
Bottom line: If an injury that wasn't your fault has resulted in significant medical bills, lost wages, and/or is projected to have long-term negative effects on your quality of life, you should hire a personal injury lawyer who can help you pursue just compensation.
Imagine you are rear-ended and suffer whiplash. Whiplash is a common injury in auto accidents, but it isn't always immediately apparent at the scene, nor will the extent of your injury be spotted in a physical exam or an X-ray. When this happens, an injury victim may not be transported to the hospital, and they could make the decision not to even visit the doctor until they are in a significant amount of pain, have limited mobility – and have unknowingly damaged the viability of their claim through delay.
A client who speaks to a personal injury attorney soon after the accident would have been told how important it is to seek medical treatment, not only for their health and well-being but for the integrity of the lawsuit they end up filing against the driver who rear-ended them. “Minor” injuries can do a great deal of harm, and treatment and rehabilitation are expensive. As a result, it is crucial for clients to hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as they can after receiving their needed medical care.
Richard C. Sklare, Esq. - Sklarelaw Law Group
Louisville Personal Injury Lawyer
I often speak with clients who ask me things like:
- “Why do I need to hire an attorney now?”
- “Shouldn't I just wait to hear what the insurance company has to say?”
- “If I give them all of my bills, won't they give me a fair settlement without an attorney?”
- “They said they would take care of my medical bills.”
My response to these clients is that it is not the insurance adjuster's job to be “fair” with them. Their job is to protect their employer – the insurance company! So, shouldn't my clients have someone whose job it is to protect them?
The earlier a lawyer can get involved in your case, the better job they can do. I had a client come to see me who had been trying to handle the case on her own for over a year. She said the insurance company told her they would pay her medical bills, but of course, they did not.
After her bills were not paid, she was turned over to collection agencies who started calling her and sending her collection notices. She ignored them, thinking the insurance company was taking care of everything. They did not, so the bills went on her credit report as delinquent.
But she had health insurance that could have paid her bills! When I told her the insurance company lied, that they would not pay her bills and it was too late to submit them to her health insurance, she cried. It took a long time for me to try to repair the damage that had been done because she assumed the insurance company “would take care of everything.”
It is important to get an attorney involved in your case right away. Evidence that can prove your case can quickly get lost or destroyed, and you might not be getting the medical care you need to recover from your injuries and prove your case.
Karl Truman, Esq. - Truman Law
Baton Rouge Personal Injury Lawyer
There are no guidelines as to when to hire a personal injury attorney; however, it is always recommended to engage a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. Personal injury firms typically work on a contingency fee basis, which means that the attorney does not get paid unless the client gets paid. The personal injury law firm fights the big insurance companies for the client by making sure medical bills are paid and by resolving property damage.
Consider the following benefits of hiring a personal injury law firm:
- You can meet the state statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim. The statute of limitations in Louisiana is one year from the accident date for which a suit may be filed. Insurance companies may drag their feet in hopes of surpassing this one-year time limit; however, a personal injury attorney can help you preserve all of your rights within the necessary time frame.
- An attorney talks to the insurance companies for you. As an individual, facing billion-dollar insurance companies and their vast amount of legal resources without legal expertise is a very daunting task. It is the job of the personal injury law firm to communicate on your behalf regarding your property damage claims, rental car (if applicable), and proper medical treatment.
- A personal injury lawyer can help you seek proper medical treatment. Sustaining an injury is stressful enough without having to locate the proper medical doctor to treat you. It is crucial that you have a reputable personal injury legal team on your side working on setting up the proper medical care with documentation in case your case must go to trial.
- Insurance companies have experts – shouldn't you? Insurance companies have a team of experts on staff whose job is to focus on one aspect of personal injury claims. By hiring a personal injury lawyer, you are on the way to evening out the playing field.
- Personal injury firms have support staff to improve your odds of winning your case. Personal injury law firms have support staff to help give the client the best experience and the best chance of prevailing in their case. Support staff can include but is not limited to: an investigative team that includes private investigators, state-of-the-art computer technology, and a network of top liability and medical experts.
If the Car that Hit Me Didn't Have Insurance, What do I Do?
UM coverage, also known as uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage, is a standard coverage option provided by most auto insurance companies. UM coverage protects the insured in situations where the party who struck their vehicle either did not have any insurance coverage or was underinsured. An attorney can help you handle UM claims and fight for clients in these situations.
What Is "No Pay, No Play?" a.k.a. NPNP
The Louisiana “No Pay, No Play” Statute (La. R.S. §32:866) is a provision that if an owner of a motor vehicle fails to own or maintain motor vehicle liability insurance, they cannot recover the first $15,000 for bodily injury damages and the first $25,000 in property damage. The following are the exceptions to the Louisiana NPNP law:
- You don't need full coverage; only the minimum liability of 15/30 is required.
- It does not apply to legally parked cars.
- Drivers from another state are exempt if their state did not require them to have liability insurance at the time of the accident.
- If the other driver is convicted of driving while intoxicated, then NPNP laws don't apply.
- If someone intentionally causes the wreck, then NPNP laws don't apply.
- If someone flees the scene, then NPNP laws don't apply.
- If there exists the furtherance of the commission of a felony at the time of the accident, then NPNP laws don't apply.
NPNP also does not apply to a passenger's claim unless the passenger is a co-owner of the uninsured car.
Do I Really Need Personal Injury Representation?
Medical data shows that a car wreck that occurs at as low as 5 mph can cause damage to the back, neck, and spine. Some of these injuries are not noticeable immediately after an accident, which is why it is essential to consult a trusted personal injury law firm when an accident of any magnitude occurs. No matter how simple or small you think your potential case may be, why not set up a risk-free, confidential consultation?
Gordon McKernan, Esq. - Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys
St Louis Personal Injury Lawyer
I believe it is important to hire a personal injury lawyer anytime you're hurt and it is someone else's fault. Personal injury cases require a multifaceted approach. It is not simply about money but about how we make sure clients get the appropriate medical care, the best settlement or verdict possible, and that their medical bills and financial needs have been taken care of.
I often see people who try to handle an injury case on their own quickly find out that it is much more complicated than they thought. This holds true when the injury victim starts running into medical liens, trying to find the appropriate doctor to take care of their injuries, and wondering whether they're being offered a fair deal when negotiating with the insurance company.
As a personal injury lawyer, I handle injured clients' cases every day and know all the legal hurdles you will likely face, the insurance companies' tricks, and a network of medical doctors to help you get better. A personal injury lawyer should know how to negotiate with the insurance company that it's better to pay a higher premium to settle your case than risk the time and money of trial and have a potentially large jury verdict to pay.
Ben Sansone, Esq. - Sansone & Lauber
St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are ever in a car accident, the two most important considerations to get the best settlement possible are when to hire a personal injury lawyer and how to find the best one for you. If you are injured to the extent that you needed more than just a hospital visit, there is no question you will do better with a good personal injury lawyer. In fact, many insurance companies use software now to evaluate the settlement range they will pay, and they automatically value the claim higher if you have a lawyer.
Beyond that, a good injury lawyer will know how to present your claim in the best light to get you the highest settlement. Statistics consistently confirm that injury victims come out ahead when a lawyer represents them. The next issue to consider is when to hire a lawyer.
Again, there is no question here. You want to hire one as soon as possible. Practically speaking, the attorney's fee is the same, so you might as well get one right after the crash.
Lawyers know all the little details the insurance companies look for to evaluate the claims, such as the type of doctor who treats you, diagnosis codes, and how often you are getting treatment. This is vital evidence in valuing your claim. A good lawyer will get you to the right doctor and make sure your complaints are accurately described in the medical records.
A lawyer should also help you avoid critical missteps along the way. Sometimes folks wait to hire a lawyer until they are not able to achieve a good settlement on their own. This is understandable, but a bad decision.
Before an insurance company will even make a settlement offer, they have to set a “reserve” on the file. If the claim is not worked up and presented properly, the “reserve” is set too low and, as a result, the settlement offers are equally low. Trying to get a personal injury lawyer to represent you at that juncture often does little to move the needle, because it is very hard to get the reserve changed without moving directly into litigation or heading to trial.
Bottom line, if you want the best settlement possible, hire a good personal injury lawyer ASAP. But how do you decide what lawyer to hire?
Knowing Who to Hire
If you have a personal injury claim, you only want lawyers who exclusively handle personal injury. DO NOT hire a lawyer that handles a little bit of every type of law. You want someone who does this all day, every day.
Law school does not teach lawyers how to handle personal injury claims – this is perfected only through experience. You want a lawyer with a track record of million-dollar settlements and verdicts. Those results show the lawyer knows how to prepare a big case for maximum value.
Even if your case is smaller, a lawyer with a history of big results knows how to squeeze the most money from the insurance company.
Joshua P. Myers, Esq. – Schultz & Myers
New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer
You should always hire a personal injury lawyer for any situation that includes either the potential for a large payout or complicated matters of liability and insurance coverage. Research shows that claimants with an attorney recover, on average, 3.5 times more money than unrepresented claimants. If your minor injuries require no further medical care and don't keep you out of work or affect your life for more than a few days, the value of your claim is on the low side – probably only a few hundred, or at most a few thousand, dollars. That's likely not enough compensation to warrant hiring a lawyer.
On the other hand, when thousands of dollars of medical bills are accumulating and you're still far from back to normal (or back to work), you could be entitled to a lot of money. Having a personal injury attorney can get you the maximum payout for your claim.
Sometimes a claim is so complex that you need a lawyer to figure out who is at fault and how to prove a claim against them. In situations with multiple defendants (like commercial truck crashes) and multiple insurance policies (like rideshare accidents), an experienced attorney makes a big difference.
Richard P. Console, Esq. - Console and Associates P.C.
Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer
The question of when to hire a personal injury attorney is two-fold. The first part is a timing question, and the answer is: the sooner the better. Evidence can be destroyed (by both claimant [plaintiff] and insured [defendant]) without knowing it even needed to be preserved.
Car parts, relevant products, and associated components may hold key information that if lost, will be detrimental to a case. Witnesses are more likely to be located and their recollection or testimony fresh in the early stages of the case. In addition, certain steps can be taken to preserve evidence of an injury including client video interviews. The saying that a photo is worth 1,000 words holds true in the personal injury world as eventually, the Plaintiff must prove their injuries to a jury, and a reputable injury attorney will incorporate those pictures and photos at the time of trial.
Finally, information on available insurance is paramount to every case and should be explored as soon as practical.
Which Cases Could Benefit from an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney?
This question is simply answered: when the value of the damages exceeds the value of small claims court, then an attorney should get involved. This is basically an economic evaluation.
In Nevada, the jurisdictional amount for small claims is $10,000. This is a practical way to evaluate your need for representation. If the total value of the claim will exceed $10,000, get an attorney involved.
This does not mean the medical expenses have to be $10,000, or the loss of wages or work has to be in excess of $10,000. It simply means that if an injury victim suffers a few thousand dollars in medical expenses, and the pain and suffering component (added together) will equate to less than $10,000, then it may not be best to get an attorney involved, as the time and expense may not justify the involvement.
On the other hand, skilled personal injury attorneys will look at all avenues of recovery, navigate and manage the case to avoid classic pitfalls, and likely increase the value with the leverage of being represented. A non-represented victim has no power to force a higher offer through litigation or the threat of litigation, and the insurance adjuster knows this. Thus, not only is it easier to hire an attorney, but a victim will not make a critical mistake in the process by letting a professional litigator manage the case.
Last, it is important that a potential client evaluate the law firm and the attorney to make sure they actually litigate cases. Otherwise, a victim is just hiring a claims attorney, and insurance companies monitor firms who fail to file lawsuits and then offer less to those firms—that is a fact.
Joseph L. Benson II, Esq. - Benson & Bingham, LLC
Rochester Personal Injury Lawyer
Your health should be your first priority after any accident. It is critical to seek emergency medical treatment and undergo a thorough examination. If you have suffered serious injuries due to an accident that was someone else's fault, your next step should be to contact a personal injury attorney.
Your personal injury lawyer can move quickly to investigate the true cause of the accident, secure evidence, and contact witnesses. When you work with an attorney, you are relieved of the burden of dealing with insurance companies. Your lawyer will handle all communications and negotiations on your behalf.
After an accident, only your personal injury attorney has your best interests at heart. No one else will stand up for your legal rights – not the insurance companies, not the police, not the courts. Contacting a personal injury attorney carries no financial risk because consultations are free and the attorney gets paid only if and when you recover compensation.
John Powers, Esq. - Powers & Santola
Fishkill Personal Injury Lawyer
The simple answer is that someone should consider hiring a personal injury attorney as early on in the process – as soon as the injury happens. There are a number of reasons why this is the case.
In certain cases, there is evidence that has a shelf life on it. Take, for example, a trucking collision wherein there is electronic data or “black box” data that is stored following a collision. This and other information needs to be preserved and could be destroyed if handled improperly – like if the insurance company's team gets there first.
It makes sense to have your legal team involved at the same time as your medical team. Cases move faster when an attorney is involved from the start, particularly if the client and attorney maintain good communication throughout the treatment process. Clients should understand that the time that they reach maximum medical improvement is the time that their case can begin to move forward in earnest.
Some clients want to try to negotiate a claim themselves with an insurance company. Making a demand too early, and in the absence of full information, can hamper negotiations down the road if a person later retains an attorney. Determining what is appropriate compensation requires experience, and an experienced personal injury attorney can help a client determine the value of their claim after properly determining the facts, injuries, medical expenses, and items of damage that can be claimed in a trial.
No lawyer should ever tell a potential client that their case is of a certain value until they have a full grasp of all of the facts and treatment. And in terms of a settlement, an injured person gets one chance to make a recovery for all of the harms and losses that they have suffered. It is therefore very important to make the most of that one opportunity if you have been injured.
There are statutes of limitation for almost every type of injury claim. In addition, some claims, particularly against government agencies, require notice to be given in relatively short periods of time. If you wait too long to act, you may be barred by a time limit.
Almost all personal injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. That means that they are paid not by the time they invest in the case but by the ultimate result. It is to your advantage to have competent counsel on your side early enough to allow your lawyer time to properly work up your case and avoid unnecessary fees.
The goal of the plaintiff's attorney is to help their clients obtain the maximum compensation allowed under the law. Like any job, when begun early and with greater preparation the end result is superior. Most personal injury attorneys offer consultation at no charge, and it is to your advantage to – at a minimum – speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after you've been injured.
Ira M. Maurer, Esq. - Injury Trial Lawyers
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer
When you've been injured by no fault of your own, that's when you need to hire a personal injury lawyer. When a careless driver hurts you or your family members, that's the time to talk to a lawyer. When you're injured at work, slip and fall in a public place, or when your child suffers from a birth injury, that's when you should hire a lawyer.
Far too often people's lives are turned upside down by no fault of their own. Insurance companies do everything they can to make sure they pay as little as possible. When you hire the right personal injury lawyer, they will know how to fight big insurance companies and help you get maximum compensation for your injury.
Going up against an insurance company on your own puts you at risk of signing away your legal rights and not getting what you're owed for your injury. You need a skilled injury law firm on your side.
Dean Weitzman, Esq. -Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman, P.C.
Rock Hill Personal Injury Lawyer
Anyone injured by the negligence of another should be represented by a personal injury attorney. The wrongdoer's insurance company is not going to prioritize your interests above its own. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses entities, and their “bottom line” will always be the focus of their claims settlement practices.
Moreover, they hire individuals skilled in the art of claims adjusting to ensure that their money-making/money-saving objectives are promoted in the handling of every claim. Accordingly, you should have a professional in your corner who understands the claims adjusting process and who will ensure that you are treated fairly. Knowing that you have such a professional on your side should also take much of the stress out of the process of pursuing your claim and allow you to focus on what is important: getting well and getting back to a more normal way of life.
The vast majority of people who hire personal injury lawyers to represent them obtain more money at the time of settlement. This is because personal injury lawyers know what claims are worth, are knowledgeable of the insurance laws with which insurance companies must comply, and ensure that insurance companies pay fair values – even if that means going to court. Also, lawyers often know how to find coverages of which laypeople are not aware.
In nearly every personal injury case, lawyers are able to negotiate with medical providers and insurers who have paid their clients' medical bills to greatly reduce the amounts otherwise owed for medical treatment received. In sum, there is no sound reason not to hire a personal injury lawyer if you've suffered injuries and damages as a result of negligence. A lawyer can counsel you on the claim process, ensure that you are being treated fairly, and also take much of the stress and anxiety out of that process so that you can focus on healing.
In the vast majority of cases, the injured party who has retained a personal injury lawyer will end up with more money in their pocket at the time of settlement.
Tom McKinney, Esq. - McKinney, Tucker, & Lemel Law Firm
Charleston Personal Injury Lawyer
Getting into an accident can turn your world upside down. You think that you have the right to sue the person who caused the accident, but you're not quite sure where to start or what to do. This is when you need to turn to a personal injury attorney for help.
Personal injury claims and lawsuits can be complicated, particularly if you're unfamiliar with the laws and procedures that will affect your case. If you decide to pursue compensation, you'll probably be dealing with either an experienced attorney or an aggressive insurance company. Both may be eager to discuss your case if you're not represented by an attorney.
They'll know what to say and do to try to convince you to accept a lowball offer. You need to make sure that you approach any insurance claim or lawsuit with a skilled personal injury attorney by your side.
Your attorney will have an in-depth understanding of the law and know how to make the very best out of your personal injury case. They'll protect you from adverse parties and advocate on your behalf. You are much more likely to file a successful claim or lawsuit with an attorney by your side.
Mark E. Troy, Esq. - Troy Law Firm
Rock Hill Personal Injury Lawyer
You should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as you have been injured. If this is a car accident, contact a lawyer at the scene.
Calling a lawyer as soon as possible can help you avoid being bullied by an insurance company later down the road. When in doubt, it is always a good idea to get a free consultation for legal advice when you have been injured.
Bennett Schiller, Esq. - Schiller & Hamilton
San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyer
If you've been injured by the wrongful acts of another, you should consult with a personal injury attorney immediately. The sooner you can reach out, the better. Consultations are free and can be done over the phone for safety and convenience.
A lawyer will evaluate your case to determine whether you have a viable claim to recover financial compensation. Some examples of the types of things financial compensation covers include:
- Medical bills (past, current, and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle repair/replacement
- Lost wages
- Emotional suffering
- Lost companionship
- Wrongful death
Predatory Practices to Watch Out For
There are many predatory practices performed by individuals, insurance companies, and businesses that centered on taking advantage of an injured person's lack of knowledge and experience. A seasoned lawyer specializes in how to deal with and defeat these tactics, which include:
- Immediately denying any wrongdoing without any investigation
- Intentionally misusing legal and/or medical terms to lower the value of your claim or to refuse to pay you
- Unexpectedly changing adjusters in the middle of negotiations
- Failure to provide relevant information regarding your claim
- Manipulate the rule of law to lower the value of your claim or flat-out deny it
- Even though liability is clear and their client is responsible, they take an unreasonable amount of time to pay you
- Not providing exact reasons for why they've denied your claim
- Dragging out negotiations past the statute of limitations so they no longer have to pay you
….just to name a few!
The problem is that most people won't realize they are victims of such tactics until later in the negotiation or investigation process. This delay could significantly adversely affect the value of your case. The main goal of a personal injury lawyer is to know what bad actors do to avoid responsibility and how to get them to pay.
Consult with a local personal injury attorney before you talk with anyone representing the responsible party. The consultation is free, and one call could make all the difference.
Anthony Pusch, Esq. - Pusch & Nguyen
Houston Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have suffered serious injuries in an accident that was someone else's fault, you need to talk to a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Insurance companies often move fast after an accident and may try to get you to make a recorded statement about the accident that they can later use against you. If liability is clear, they may make a settlement offer in hopes of making your claim go away quickly and cheaply, which is almost certainly less than you deserve.
Remember that insurance companies don't have your best interests at heart. Their goal is simply to pay out as little as possible – and ideally nothing – on your claim. You need to hire a personal injury attorney whose goals are the same as yours.
Only a personal injury lawyer will fight for your best interests after an accident. You should contact a lawyer for a free consultation as soon as you have attended to your emergency medical needs.
Michael Fleming, Esq. - Michael P. Fleming & Associates
Roanoke Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a family member has been in an accident and suffered serious injuries, it is in your best interests to contact a trusted personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. There are many steps a skilled attorney can take to protect your legal rights in the immediate aftermath of an accident, including collecting evidence before it disappears and interviewing witnesses while their memories are still fresh.
In addition, you should know that the at-fault party's insurance company will have its own legal team on the case from the very beginning. Insurance adjusters may offer you a lowball settlement or attempt to get you to say things that could ultimately hurt your case. An experienced personal injury attorney will manage all communication with the insurance company, including aggressively negotiating for full and fair compensation on your behalf.
John E. Lichtenstein, Esq. - Lichtenstein Law Group
Virginia Beach Personal Injury Lawyer
It is almost always a good idea to hire a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident or serious injury. At a minimum, you should at least consult with an attorney soon after the incident – even if you don't think you need to hire one.
Unfortunately, we have seen many people make the mistake of thinking they do not need an attorney. They try to handle the claim on their own, but personal injury cases are almost never as simple as they seem. Even in a seemingly straightforward case, there are many factors and circumstances that could complicate your situation.
For example, in the aftermath of a car accident, you might underestimate a “minor” injury that lands you in a lot of pain later on. Without the proper medical treatment and documentation, it may be difficult to claim an injury that turned out to be worse than you initially thought.
This is just one instance. Other issues that frequently come up in personal injury cases that most people do not know how to address include:
- How to determine the value of the case
- How to prove certain items of damages
- What insurance should be used to pay medical bills
- What insurance applies if the negligent driver does not have enough insurance
- Whether health insurance needs to be paid back
And, of course, attorneys almost always get more money for the case than the clients could get on their own.
In short, trying to save money by handling the claim on your own could be one of the costliest mistakes you ever make. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side will help you get more money in your pocket and will greatly reduce the risk of your making a mistake that could ruin your case.
Edwin Booth, Esq. - Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward
Milwaukee Personal Injury Lawyer
I recommend a victim call as soon as your rights are affected. Many things can be done to make sure your right to compensation and recovery. The sooner you call and hire an attorney, the better.
Insurance companies immediately work to reduce what they owe. We know from experience that insurance companies immediately preserve evidence, take statements, and research victims and witnesses. An insurance adjuster will either fight back, saying the victim shares some portion of the fault and therefore reduces what is owed or will argue that the injury was the result of a pre-existing condition or some other excuse.
Having a personal injury accident lawyer evens the playing field and helps maximize the value of an injury claim. Sometimes a victim cannot get to their doctor right away or does not know which doctor to see. This inability and indecision may cause a gap in time between the crash and medical care, and any gap between the crash and medical care is an excuse for the insurance company to not pay what they rightfully owe.
Injury attorneys and their staff spend much of their time talking with doctors and medical providers about the care received by clients. Why not call a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible and use their experience to help max the value of your claim?
Jonathan P. Groth, Esq. - Groth Law Firm, S.C.
National Personal Injury Lawyer
No one expects to need a personal injury attorney. However, if the unfortunate situation arises that calls for the need to hire one, you need legal counsel who is kind, available, and has a proven track record of successful settlements. Below are some of the most important qualities to look for in a personal injury lawyer.
- Accessibility– After you or a loved one experiences an injury, convenience is of the utmost importance. You need a lawyer who is willing to come to a convenient location if travel is challenging during your recovery.
- Commitment– A committed attorney will go the extra mile to make themselves available to you via phone or email. A great attorney brings their attitude of commitment to your relationship with them right into the courtroom and will work with you to fight for the best results possible.
- Compassion– Dealing with an injury takes a physical and emotional toll on both the injured party and their caregivers. An attorney can handle the details of the case so you can prioritize taking care of yourself.
- Reputation– The best personal injury attorneys have the reputation to prove it. Ensure that the injury attorney you choose is well-regarded by their peers and in reviews from former clients and that he or she appears on published lists of the best personal injury lawyer near you.
- Experience– One way a personal injury lawyer can be measured is by their rate of successful settlements. How many cases have they won in the courtroom, and do they have experience with cases similar to yours?
- Collaboration– Hire a firm that allows different experts to work together to support your case in the most effective way possible. Your lawyer should be a team player and know how to collaborate to get the best results.
Theodore “Ted” Berman, Esq. - Berman Law Group
Does My Situation Require a Personal Injury Attorney?
No two accidents or injuries are the same, and the circumstances surrounding them are almost always unique to the client. Here are four scenarios where you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney:
1. You Suffered Catastrophic Injuries or Permanent Disability
If you were seriously injured in an accident or acquired a serious illness, you need an injury lawyer. There is no room for chance when a lifetime of pain and suffering, and the associated medical bills, are on the line. At the very least, a free consultation with an injury attorney is highly recommended.
Further, if you sustained an injury that is going to require long-term care or cause permanent disability, hiring a personal injury lawyer could be the only way to prevent financial stress for you and your family.
2. You Aren't Sure Who Is at Fault
If you were involved in an accident and it is unclear who the negligent party is, you should consult with an attorney. The other party's insurance company will try to blame you for the damages. Talking to an attorney can help you enforce your rights and protect you from counterclaims.
3. There Are Multiple Parties Involved
If you were injured in an accident that involved multiple parties, consulting with a personal injury lawyer will give you the best chance of not being stuck with the bill. Personal injury attorneys have the experience necessary to deal with multiple insurance companies at once and to help build a case that will maximize your damages and potential settlement or jury verdict.
A lawyer will also have the skills necessary to ensure that you get maximum compensation without leaving money on the table.
4. The Insurance Company Denied or Is Delaying Your Claim
Insurance companies know that 99% of people do not understand all the complicated laws and procedures associated with a personal injury claim. Because of this, they will often use this advantage to deny an injured plaintiff the money they deserve for a legitimate injury claim because they know the victim won't do anything about it if they are not represented by competent counsel. This is why it is so important to hire a highly regarded injury law firm.
Likewise, insurance companies delay claims in an attempt to wear down the injured party until they simply give up. They know that money is tight and the bills keep rolling in, so they will use this position to offer a fraction of the amount your claim is worth. If you're in this situation, you should consult with a personal injury attorney.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
A personal injury lawyer gets paid by recovering money for their clients through a personal injury lawsuit. This money comes from either an out-of-court settlement or from a jury award if the case goes to trial.
Injury attorneys do not charge their clients any upfront fees or costs, nor do they charge on an hourly basis. Instead, they charge based on what is known as a contingency fee, which means the fee the client will pay for the attorney's services is contingent on the outcome of the case. The purpose of a contingency fee is to level the playing field for all parties regardless of financial means, and it should be noted that the client only pays the attorney if the case is successful and the attorney recovers money for the client.
How much the contingency fee will be is based on a percentage of the amount the attorney recovers for the client in accordance with the applicable Florida Bar rule. If the attorney is successful, a portion of the final verdict (usually 40% of the first $1 million and a sliding scale thereafter) is used to pay the attorney fee. If the attorney is not able to recover money for one reason or another, then the client does not owe attorney fees.
This amount varies from state to state, but according to the Florida Bar, the contingency fees for a Florida personal injury attorney are as follows:
- If the case is settled out of court, the attorney is paid 33.3% of any monies recovered, up to $1 million.
- If the case goes to court and a jury has to decide, the attorney is paid 40% of any money recovered, up to $1 million.
- If the case settles for more than $1 million, additional percentage limits apply.
What Sets Dolman Law Group Apart from the Competition?
Handling a personal injury case on your own is risky and usually a bad idea. Studies show that injury victims receive more money in their pockets when they are represented by a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. In fact, the recovery could be up to 3.5 times more. Like Matt Dolman said above, this number would be even higher if the studies didn't include the money that settlement mills leave on the table.
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that only have their bottom line in mind at all times. This means that if they can deny your claim or offer you a minimal amount of money, they will – and they are very good at doing just that.
Experience Is Irreplaceable
Knowing when to hire a personal injury lawyer can make a huge difference in your injury claim. An experienced attorney has the tools necessary to negotiate properly with insurance carriers. They know how to help you manage your medical bills, and they have the resources necessary to retain the best experts to help you prove liability and demonstrate the severity of your injuries.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, has handled over 10,000 personal injury claims, effectively litigated for victims with injuries ranging from minor to catastrophic, and has recovered many millions of dollars for our clients. There is just no substitute for experience, and this experience has earned us the respect of insurance carriers not only across the state of Florida but across the entire country as well. They know we mean business and will take them to court, so they often offer our clients more money than they do for clients of other law firms – since they know they will eventually pay it anyway when they deal with us.
Selecting a Florida personal injury attorney does not have to be complicated. Simply contact Dolman Law Group by filling out our online contact form or by calling us at 866-345-2391. We look forward to answering your questions and helping you and your family get back to your life.
The Personal Injury Attorneys You Can Trust
The personal injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group have a combined 115+ years of experience handling personal injury lawsuits and claims throughout Florida and the nation (by working with lawyers licensed in the applicable jurisdiction). Our firm has recovered in excess of $150 million for clients through pre-suit personal injury claim settlements or as a result of personal injury lawsuits. We have a reputation as a law firm that is willing to take cases to trial when insurance carriers try to settle injury claims with unreasonable settlement offers.
We have grown our firm based on word-of-mouth referrals from former clients for whom we have obtained personal injury settlements. Unlike those law firms who advertise on daytime television, we choose not to rely on commercials to bring in new clients. Rather, we focus on fostering relationships with our clients. For example, we provide our clients with the cellphone numbers of the Managing Partner and the lawyer handling their case. Your attorney-client relationship begins at your free case evaluation and consultation.
Get to Know Our Lawyers
Matthew A. Dolman, Esq., is a nationally recognized bodily injury lawyer who has personally handled over 5,000 personal injury claims and 1,500 personal injury lawsuits. Matthew is a lifetime member of both the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for settlements or verdicts in excess of $1 million and $2 million dollars – an achievement reached by fewer than 2% of personal injury lawyers. He is also a member of the National Trial Lawyers' Top 100 Trial Lawyers and has been selected on multiple occasions by his colleagues as a Florida Super Lawyer and Florida's Legal Elite.
Matthew has served as lead counsel on over 1,000 personal injury lawsuits in the following Florida counties: Pinellas, Hillsborough, Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota, and Hernando. Very few personal injury law firms maintain a statewide presence; in fact, we are considered local personal injury attorneys in numerous Florida cities and municipalities. Matthew offers free case evaluations to anyone injured as a result of someone else's negligence.
Stanley Gipe is board-certified as a civil trial lawyer by the Florida Bar and has tried numerous personal injury lawsuits to verdict. He is well-respected by insurance adjusters and defense lawyers alike for his experience and his achievements, which include multiple seven-figure results, numerous catastrophic injury claims, and serving as lead counsel in 1,500 lawsuits. He offers free case evaluations to all injury victims and is considered one of the best personal injury accident lawyers in Tampa Bay and throughout Florida.
For a free case evaluation, call us today at (833)-55-Crash.
How Do I Find the Best Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me?
There are several important factors or criteria that will help you find the top personal injury lawyer.
1. Does the Personal Injury Lawyer Or Law Firm Only Represent Plaintiffs?
It is important to choose an injury law firm that limits its practice to personal injury claims and related matters (for example, workers' compensation, civil sexual assault claims, and lawsuits against the manufacturers of dangerous drugs). Avoid the jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none lawyer, or firm that handles numerous areas of the law. It is very difficult to practice in various areas of the law with a high level of competence.
Make sure you pick a lawyer who represents only plaintiffs (injury victims) and does not represent the interest of any insurance carriers. Many personal injury lawyers brag on billboards and television commercials about the settlements they have obtained. What they fail to mention is whether money was left on the table… and how much.
2. Does the Firm Have Good Reviews?
A large portion of our personal injury business has been built from referrals from former and current clients who have been satisfied with the personalized attention we offer our clients. Reviews from former clients provide injury victims with valuable information so they can find the best injury lawyer for their case.
3. Is The Firm Respected By Other Attorneys in the Community?
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we are referred cases by lawyers throughout the nation to assist them with local claims as well as cases throughout the state of Florida. In fact, many Florida law firms use our firm to assist in the litigation process. We have the financial resources necessary to level the playing field with any size corporation or insurance giant.
We have litigated against corporate giants such as:
- Walt Disney World
- Ritz Carlton
- State Farm
- Johnson & Johnson
just to name a few.
4. Has the Firm Or Lawyer Received Peer Recognition for Their Work?
It is important to research whether the firm has received peer evaluations and recognition for its work. At Dolman Law Group, we have multiple injury lawyers who have been selected by their colleagues as Florida Super Lawyers and members of the Florida Legal Elite and who have received permanent inclusion in the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Our attorneys are listed in many of the premier attorney listing services as well.
If your lawyer or law firm has been recognized by their peers, this is a sign of consistent success and is a good way for you to narrow your search.
5. Are the Lawyers Experienced in Handling a Wide Variety of Personal Injury Claims?
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we have had the honor and pleasure of representing over 10,000 injury victims and have recovered over $100 million for our clients. Hire someone with the experience necessary to get the job done right the first time.
6. Does the Attorney Have Time for You?
In almost every city in the country, there are attorneys who use their personal image to market their firm. But in reality, you will likely never meet–much less work with–those lawyers in particular. Instead, they have a team of junior lawyers handling their cases.
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our attorneys are not only experienced and skilled at what they do, but we also understand the human element and make sure our clients know that. Our motto is “big firm results with small firm personal attention,” and we mean it. When you work with our firm you know the personal cell phone number of your attorney. We are more concerned with quality legal services over quantity.
7. Does the Lawyer Settle All Their Cases, Or Are They Willing to Go to Trial?
Many personal injury attorneys boast about the number of clients they succeeded in getting compensation for, but there is a difference between getting a client a settlement and getting a client the full value of compensation they deserve. In many cases, an out-of-court settlement can be negotiated where a client receives maximum compensation due to the hard work of their attorney. However, in many high-value personal injury cases, and in cases where fault is not as easily proven, insurance companies may put up a bigger fight, and negotiations are more difficult.
In fact, settlement negotiations may not be successful at all, and the only recourse left is to take a case to trial. Many attorneys would rather take an easy settlement instead of fighting for maximum compensation at trial. This is a strategy that settlement mills typically employ.
Personal injury lawyers who do this want to process a large number of clients in and out and with little effort put into their cases. They may not have the resources for a trial, or they simply may not be able to handle taking your case to court. Always be sure that the attorney you select has experience with trials and is ready and willing to fight in court for the maximum value of your case.
Our Firm Has Offices Across America
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, maintains offices on both Florida coasts, including:
- St. Petersburg
- New Port Richey
- Fort Lauderdale
- North Miami Beach
- Boca Raton
We also have offices in Massachusetts, New York, Texas, and Georgia. If you ultimately decide we are the best personal injury attorney near you, free consultations are available.
Not all situations require an attorney, but situations in which there is a serious injury, such as a spinal cord injury, disc injury, or traumatic brain injury, will probably require the specialized skills and knowledge of someone who knows the legal system. The insurance companies involved in your case will most likely have a team of personal injury accident lawyers working for them. It is not a fair game, and they are not on your side.
Let Our Personal Injury Attorneys Help You During This Difficult Time
Some people may think the Florida contingency fee is high, but the Florida Bar sets it according to the risk the personal injury lawyer is taking in accepting your case. If there is no financial recovery, the attorney loses all the time, money, and effort they put into the case. If there is a financial recovery, then we all win!
For a free case evaluation, call us today at (833)-55-Crash or fill out our contact form online.